Make the Edge Count

Riparian. It's not a word everyone knows, so don't be embarrassed if you don't either. The roots of the word riparian are related to the banks of a river-exactly what we're working to improve! Riparian areas are complex ecosystems that provide important ecological functions and are critical to maintaining water health.

Since 2007, ACA's Riparian Conservation Program has been focusing on collaboration. By working together, we deliver tools and expertise so landowners or farmers can improve riparian habitat, water quality, and their operations.

"Working with landowners and our partners means we can collaborate on stewardship initiatives that benefit riparian habitat and the agricultural operations," says ACA Senior Biologist and project lead, Jeff Forsyth.

How do we accomplish this win-win scenario? Understanding the goals of these private landowners, we offer free off-site watering either by building permanent water troughs or providing portable solar waterers for livestock. These alternate watering systems can lead to healthier herds by providing clean water, which means better gains for producers, and less time and money spent dealing with livestock health issues. Other options include free, customized fencing to protect sensitive banks and competitive payments to offset lost grazing acres or arable land.

In turn, riparian habitat, fish, and spawning systems can improve. By engaging as many people as possible, we make a much greater impact in protecting and restoring riparian habitat in priority watersheds, like the Owl River. Years of collaborating has created healthier herds, healthier banks, and healthier water-benefiting everyone.

  • ACA has worked with 65+ landowners across the province.
  • Over 8,600 acres of riparian and adjacent upland habitat has been conserved.
  • At the Owl River alone, over 600 acres and 8 km of valuable habitat and riverbank have been conserved.

Corporate Partners in Conservation

Project Sponsors

  • Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society 
  • Alberta Fish & Game Association
  • Cows and Fish – Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society
  • Critical Mass
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Foothills Forage and Grazing Association
  • Government of Alberta
  • Grey Wooded Forage Association
  • Landowners
  • Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance
  • Milk River Watershed Council Canada
  • Oldman Watershed Council
  • Red Deer River Watershed Alliance
  • Sinopec Canada
  • Trout Unlimited Canada
  • West County Watershed Society
  • Wood PLC